Teen proves his disability does not define him

Posted at 10:41 AM, Oct 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-29 12:41:06-04

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    SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) — Customer service with a smile. Sometimes that’s hard to come across, but at Raising Cane’s on Pine Street in Shreveport, it comes with your order.

“Even though I have a disability, I’m going to work just as hard as anybody else.”

18-year-old Pierce Parker’s life turned upside down with a diagnosis of cancer and leg amputation.

From then on, he was labeled as a person with a disability and wouldn’t be able to do the things he used to do with ease.

Pierce was diagnosed with cancer after a tumor was found on his leg. In just one week, it went from the size of a pea to an egg.

He was only twelve when his family had to make a tough decision.

“He underwent four different treatment plans, at first they told us he will not lose his leg,” said his mother Angela. “Life over leg, day one.”

His left calf looked like a football player’s, reaching 38 centimeters around.

After multiple surgeries, the tumor continued to grow. The best decision for Pierce and his family – amputate the leg.

Since then, Pierce has been motivated to work twice as hard.

“He will not get a handicap license plate, he will not let us drop him off, and he doesn’t care how far back you park even if it’s raining. He’s one who will go far and above before everyone else,” added Angela.

His motivation most certainly shows at work.

“I’ve had a lot of coworkers and customers tell me, ‘you get around this place so fast!’ I try to get it done as fast as I can. I think some people are shocked how fast I can zip around,” laughed Pierce.

The full time student works 30 hours a week, constantly on his feet doing every task he’s asked to do.

“There is nothing different about Pierce that can stop him, he’s just a hard worker,” said his boss John Parker.

Parker hired Pierce for his attitude and contagious smile, because that’s the first thing you notice when you’re standing on the other side of the counter.

“Don’t let a disability stop you from hiring someone, hire them for who they are. A disability isn’t who someone is,” added his mother.

October is “National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month,” a time to showcase those who work just as hard as someone who doesn’t have a disability, despite the obstacles that have been thrown at Pierce and others.

“I don’t ever think he has a disability, because he doesn’t act like it. He does want he wants to do and it doesn’t stop him,” said Angela.

“I don’t let it hold me back.”

Now that pierce is 18, he hopes to take on a manager’s position at Raising Cane’s.

This march, he will be 5 years cancer free, a huge milestone for anyone who has beat cancer!

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